Pediatric Airway Disorders

Sign Language for Babies and Children

Many children with tracheostomies have difficulty speaking. Sign language can help babies and children communicate with their families. There are many places families can turn to for help learning and teaching sign language.

Families can review several of these books, videos and CDs for no charge in the Little Rock Family Resource Room in the Children’s Seashore House at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Children's sign language books

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. This book describes the communication delays that are common in children with Down Syndrome. It offers parents and care givers information about what to expect in the development of a child with Down Syndrome, as well as techniques for managing communication delays.

Signs For Me: Basic Sign Vocabulary for Children. This is an excellent book for preschool and elementary school children to learn American Sign Language and written English. It includes more than 300 essential signs, their English equivalents, and a picture “translation.” Signs For Me introduces signs for common household items, animals, family, verbs, emotions, safety and other concepts.

Where is Baby? A Lift the Flap Sign Language Book. This fun, interactive book is written to teach basic American Sign Language to children ages 1 to 4. The book features 12 basic questions in ASL with their English translations.

Children's sign language videos and CDs

ASL Dictionary (on CD-ROM). Contains approximately 1,850 ASL signs linked with 3,500 English synonyms. It requires no installation and will run on either PC or MAC computers that have 64+ MB RAM and are capable of playing MPEG-1 files.

ASL Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide (on CD-ROM). Shows ASL signs for English words, and shows these signs within ASL sentences, showing how the signs can change depending on the ASL sentence. English translations of ASL sentences are provided.

Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). This free service provides open-captioned videotapes of educational videos for children and adults of all ages, life-long learning topics, general interest/information topics, classic movies, videos in sign language and captions and videos captioned in Spanish. Hundreds of open-captioned videos are now available for viewing on the DCMP website. Registered users can click on a title and watch the entire video online. Voice: 800-237-6213, TTY: 800-237-6819

Look Who’s Signing, Part 1 A-J. This interactive DVD is excellent for infants, toddlers and young children. It includes 26 basic signs in American Sign Language, the alphabet, classical music and much more. The video offers parents, caregivers and even teachers a tool for not only communicating with their children but also educating them and having fun all at the same time.

Look Who’s Signing, Part 2 K - Z. This DVD picks up right where Part 1 left off and continues to teach your child the wonderful art of signing by introducing him or her to new vocabulary from the second half of the alphabet.

Signing Time. This company provides a wealth of DVDs, information, newsletters, blogs, coloring sheets and chore charts to support families who want to learn American Sign Language and teach it to their deaf or hard-of-hearing babies, preschoolers and school-age children. This material is developed for use with children with and without hearing loss. 

Sign Me a Story: Sign Language for Everyone. Linda Bove of Sesame Street narrates children's stories including, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Sign Songs: Fun Songs to Sign and Sing. Children's songs are signed in American Sign Language.

We Sign Babies & Toddlers. This two-tape set is a great resource for teaching sign language to young children. The first tape includes an introduction to sign language and more than 30 of the most commonly used words. The second tape provides over 200 words for expanding a child's signing vocabulary.

We Sign Play Time Video. Join a group of moms and children as they sing, sign, laugh, move and play-along to such great songs as: Wheels On The Bus, This Is The Way, One Little Kitty, Stop Look & Listen and many more.

Local sign language resources

Local universities and community colleges

The following community colleges have offered classes in American Sign Language in the past:

Community organizations

The following organizations periodically provide sign language classes, and will arrange for home-based or business-based tutoring/mentoring or training:

Sign Out Loud
Glenside and Doylestown, PA
American Sign Language (ASL) instruction for enhancing family communication and language development for parents, babies and kids ages 4 months to 4 years and beyond. To register, call (215) 572-5139.

Baby Signs Program
Classes, products for babies with normal hearing or with hearing loss and their parents. The Baby Signs Program teaches babies to use simple, easy-to-do gestures for communicating with their parents and caregivers. These gestures or “signs” represent an item or concept, like “cat,” “eat,” or “all gone.” Using signs gives babies a way to “talk” with their parents, before they can talk.

Center for Community and Professional Services, PA School for the Deaf
Philadelphia, PA
Voice/TTY: (215) 754-4770
Fax: (215) 754-4792

Deaf Hearing Communication Center
Swarthmore, PA
Voice/TTY: (610) 604-0450
Fax: (610) 604-0456

PAHrtners Deaf Services
Glenside, PA
Voice: (215) 884-9770 (ask for Linda Claypool)
TTY: (215) 884-4926
Fax: (215) 884-9774
Email Linda at

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center of Lancaster County
Lancaster, PA
Voice/TTY: (717) 291-1839
Fax: (717) 291-1830

Berks Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Reading, PA
Voice/TTY: (610) 374-7300
Fax: (610) 374-0379

ASL Tutors and Mentors

Erin Wiggins
Harleysville, PA
Email Erin at

Rebecca and Meghan Rainone
Voorhees, NJ
Email Rebecca and Meghan at
Voice: (856) 383-8398

Diana Meade
Manasquan, NJ
Email Diana at or
Text: (732) 604-1025
Voice: (848) 333-7014 (connects to an interpreter who calls Diana)

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